A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? On the calendar is it Spring Break for you? Our two-week school vacation officially begins after [home] school today. If travel was possible, we would likely be on a road trip to Spain or Portugal. So strange to think of it now! It’s like a faraway dream. Instead, this school break will be hardly noticeable — though I do think the kids will be relieved not to have home school responsibilities for a couple of weeks.

Sunday is Easter and I think this will be the most low-key holiday we’ve ever had. You’ll laugh, but we asked the kids how they wanted to celebrate and the only request was funeral potatoes (a comfort food popular among Mormons). I can’t remember the last time I made them, so it sounds like a good plan to me. Speaking of Mormons, today our church is holding a fast for worldwide COVID-19 relief. It’s a small thing but it feels good to be participating in something mindful and positive with millions of people around the world.

How about you? How are you feeling about your spring holidays? Any plans? Will you be dying eggs and having a hunt in your garden? Having a traditional meal? Face-timing with your extended family? I’d love to hear.

Here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

This Is Trump’s Fault. The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures.

-Millions of people have lost their jobs — but business is booming for the lobbying industry.

-Need 5-10 minutes of pure joy? Read all of the cards on Cards Against Humanity Family Edition.

The U.S. Should Just Send Checks—But Won’t. America’s obsession with keeping aid from the undeserving is making a bad economic crisis worse. “Even when our policies offer aid to the poor, they often require bureaucratic hoop-jumping, work requirements, or some condition that demonstrates the recipients’ need and moral uprightness.”

-Spain is working to roll out a permanent UBI (universal basic income).

-Hospitals say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word.

-Why do we make children sleep alone?

-Sen. Elizabeth Warren has unveiled a massive set of proposals to overhaul voting in the U.S. “The chaos and the attempt to suppress the vote in Wisconsin should be a wake-up call for the United States Congress. We need to act immediately.”

-Brad Montague’s new book is a really good read — Becoming Better Grownups: Rediscovering What Matters and Remembering How to Fly.

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

-What hacks have you figured out to help you make it through the day?

-Do you feel these are radical beliefs?

-The responses are a record of cancellations, big and small. What thing of yours was cancelled?

-What are your thoughts on our odd primary traditions? What if every state held a primary on the same day?

This is disturbing.

-This is also disturbing.

Injustice compounds injustice.

-Does the quarantine make you less in favor, or more in favor, of leaning in?

-A thread of book recommendations that are good, but don’t require too much brain power.

-So much chaos.


-What? Does this really work?

I hope you find lots of happy moments this weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


P.S. — Easter Candy in France.

29 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. New York State cancelled our spring break, which was supposed to be this week, including today (Good Friday), which should have been a day off even if it wasn’t spring break. Instead, teachers (like me) had to continue to provide online/remote learning and students were expected to continue to learn. There are several theories as to why NYS made this decision (the continuation of meals to families/not wanting people to go out and about if they thought they were on “break”), but as a teacher, I have found it very frustrating and unfair. There were ways we could have continued for meals without having to continue instruction. We started online/remote learning immediately on March 16th, so it’s not as if we had time off that we now need to “make up”. At this point, it’s not clear if we’ll get time off later in the year (which I presume will have to happen as contractually, not giving those days back would mean us teaching more days than we’re paid for).

  2. Our town in Massachusetts has cancelled Spring Break- when schools first closed there were two weeks when there was not much online learning as teachers began to ramp up and figure out how to do things – so that was sort of a spring break. This way, school will officially end a week earlier in June…

  3. So many disappointments, big and small. For our immediate family, the main ones are a missed high school graduation for our son, a sudden eviction from grad student housing for our daughter, our cancelled 25th anniversary trip to Fiji this month–but those seem minor in comparison to death and job loss and the other things people are dealing with (and which may hit us too, of course).

  4. Gabby – I have always loved your blog but it is straight up keeping me sane right now. Every new post feels like a conversation with a trusted, interesting, smart friend. I look forward to them, and savor each one over a cup of tea. I appreciate your honestly, openness, and willingness to share both the meaningful and the mundane. It means a lot and brings me comfort. Thank you.

    1. Wow, Deb. Thank you. That was a really kind thing to say. I almost didn’t write this post today — I was having a hard time getting up the energy — so I especially appreciate your comment.

      1. This blog is such a gift in so many ways–the community, the information, the insight–so much of what you give us feels like it is not only a resource from a trusted friend but a window into a better way of seeing the world. Thank you, Gabrielle, for mustering that energy even when you don’t think you’ve got it in you.

        1. I totally agree. Thank you for continuing to shepherd this community even through these very dark days when you, like the rest of us, have your own struggles. Midori is right, it really is a gift.

    2. SAME – it’s the one bright spot some days. Loving the normal-life content most of all right now I think. It’s just a relief to read.

  5. I am so angry about how the Wisconsin election was handled. The blatant voter suppression, particularly in Milwaukee, is breathtaking in its audacity. I desperately hope procedures can be developed on a national level for the November election.

  6. For school lunches, we were surprised to see our school buses making their runs, but it turns out it is only to delivery lunches. They stop at the various pick up points and parents meet the bus and get the lunches–sometimes for the whole week in one stop. We hear volunteers are helping at the schools to prepare and pack the meals.

  7. I can’t believe this is my first time reading about funeral potatoes. I have read your blog for years. I must have just missed it. Looks wonderfully soothing. Will make when I have all the ingredients. I did not think of Easter this year. My boys are big and I hope they are not expecting candy. I may make latkes because I do have onions and frozen hash browns. Virtual hugs to you and yours.

  8. Trump has blood on his hands. Over the past 3 years I have found myself dumbfounded again and again and again that so many people choose not to see (or choose to ignore, or I-have-no-idea-what-because-it-feels-like-a-legitimate-mental-health-crisis) Trump’s posturing, lies, lies, lies, deflect, blame, and so on. With each new low bar I have thought, “OK, NOW they’ll see it right?… OK, but NOW… NOW?”

    For my own mental sanity I’ve had to learn how to step back just enough to avoid feeling constant rage, while remaining close enough to be vigilant and caring–a tough balancing act.

    If this deadly bafoonery that is Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus is not that thing that changes minds or at least allows for everyone to finally agree that “the jig is up, the emporor has no clothes…” then I believe that Trump could actually committ murder in broad daylight, on national TV, with millions of witnesses and then simply say, “Nope. I didn’t do it.” And he would still be believed.

  9. Funeral potatoes for the win! I read about them here years ago and sometimes. bring them to potlucks. They’re always in a huge hit. When social distancing is over I’ll make them for the first potluck I’m invited to in celebration l.

  10. I live in Green Bay, WI. Our 30+ polling places were consolidated into 2. I waited 2 hours and 45 minutes to vote on Tuesday and was only the 21st person from my ward and 316th voter at that location, which only had two check-in tables and one one machine ballot reader. Voters stood in line until almost 1am and at the end of the day only 2600 people voted in person in Green Bay on Tuesday. Angry does not begin to describe my feelings. People of all parties had their vote suppressed in Wisconsin on Tuesday and it’s not okay.

  11. Thank you for the link to the book suggestions! So many great ones on the list! I also noticed that Maris Krezman linked the books to bookshop.org. I have never heard of that website, but I am now totally going to use it! Instead of buying books on Amazon, this allows us to help keep independent bookstores in business. Thanks so much!

  12. I’d appreciate the creativity and ingenuity of this community. My daughter turns 21 on May 3. We were supposed to spend the weekend in New Orleans at Jazz Fest with her favorite artists and new-found “adulthood.” (I treasure Jazz Fest for not making Stevie Nicks, Lizzo, and others come out.)

    Any ideas for a memorable stay-at-home celebration? I ordered some Cafe Du Monde chickory coffee and am looking into Beignet, daiquiri, and jambalaya recipes, but ingredients are hard to come by.

  13. I’ve been making all my favorite Mormon foods this quarantine but haven’t gotten to funeral potatos yet. I can’t believe. I’ll have to get the ingredients next time we make a grocery run! Do you have frozen hashbrowns in France?!

  14. Did you see the results out of Wisconsin tonight! Jill Karofsky won a seat on the state Supreme Court! Incumbent Dan Kelly who voted to make people vote last week heard how they felt about it loud and clear – we kicked him out!
    A small victory to celebrate during trying times.

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